The 2023 calendar year for the Washington Wizards came to a close with a 130-126 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on New Year’s Eve Sunday.
Washington got off to a nice start, picking up where they left off from Friday night with a combination of good defense and efficient offense. This led to a 17-4 lead to start the game.
Atlanta would regain some footing in this game, thanks in part to some hot shooting from their star, Trae Young (40 points, 13 assists). The Wizards also struggled to stop 2nd year forward Jalen Johnson, who athleticism and size were tough to match for much of the 1st half. Johnson would finish with a team high 18 points before halftime (24 points for the game). Hawks took a 70-58 lead into halftime.
In the 2nd half it was Dejounte Murray’s turn as he got hot and opened up the Hawks lead with 10 3rd quarter points (32 points for the game). The Wizards simply could not stop the Hawks pick and roll action in much of the 2nd half, whether it was with Young or Murray initiating.
The Wizards will be in action again on Wednesday to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Deni with a Crazy Buzzer Beater
Deni Avdija with the best HORSE shot of 2023 in just before the buzzerpic.twitter.com/jyy4hLWulF— Neil Dalal (@NeilDalal96) December 31, 2023
Solid Game from Kuz
Kyle Kuzma was the catalyst offensively. He finished with 36 points (14-30 shooting and 7-18 from 3 point range), 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Great game in a losing effort.